Archive for the ‘salaries and wages’ Category

Sources of Increasing Differential Mortality Among the Aged by Socioeconomic Status

July 16, 2015 Comments off

Sources of Increasing Differential Mortality Among the Aged by Socioeconomic Status
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

This paper uses data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to explore the extent and causes of widening differences in life expectancy by socioeconomic status (SES) for older persons. We construct alternative measures of SES using educational attainment and average (career) earnings in the prime working ages of 41-50. We also use information on causes of death, health status and various behavioral indicators (smoking, drinking, and obesity) that are believed to be predictors of premature death in an effort to explain the causes of the growing disparities in life expectancy between people of high and low SES.

The paper finds that:

  • There is strong statistical evidence in the HRS of a growing inequality of mortality risk by SES among more recent birth cohorts compared with cohorts born before 1930.
  • Both educational attainment and career earnings as constructed from Social Security records are equally useful indicators of SES, although the distinction in mortality risk by education is greatest for those with and without a college degree.
  • There has been a significant decline in the risk of dying from cancer or heart conditions for older Americans in the top half of the income distribution, but we find no such reduction of mortality risk in the bottom half of the distribution.
  • The inclusion of the behavioral variables and health status result in substantial improvement in the predictions of mortality, but they do not identify the sources of the increase in differential mortality.

The Income-Achievement Gap and Adult Outcome Inequality

July 14, 2015 Comments off

The Income-Achievement Gap and Adult Outcome Inequality (PDF)
Source: Federal Reserve Board

This paper discusses various methods for assessing group differences in academic achievement using only the ordinal content of achievement test scores. Researchers and policymakers frequently draw conclusions about achievement differences between various populations using methods that rely on the cardinal comparability of test scores. This paper shows that such methods can lead to erroneous conclusions in an important application: measuring changes over time in the achievement gap between youth from high- and low-income households. Commonly-employed, cardinal methods suggest that this “income-achievement gap” did not change between the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (NLSY) 1979 and 1997 surveys. In contrast, ordinal methods show that this gap narrowed substantially for reading achievement and may have narrowed for math achievement as well. In fact, any weighting scheme that places more value on higher test scores must conclude that the reading income-achievement gap decreased between these two surveys. The situation for math achievement is more complex, but low-income students in the middle and high deciles of the low-income math achievement distribution unambiguously gained relative to their high-income peers. Furthermore, an anchoring exercise suggests that the narrowing of the income-achievement gap corresponds to an economically significant convergence in lifetime labor wealth and school completion rates for youth from high- and low-income backgrounds.

See also: Achievement Gap Estimates and Deviations from Cardinal Comparability (PDF)

CA — Municipal workers get richer as cities cry poor

July 13, 2015 Comments off

Municipal workers get richer as cities cry poor
Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

According to Municipal Wage Watch, a CFIB backgrounder comparing municipal public sector wages and benefits to the private sector, city workers in Canada continue to pressure public finances through excessive wages and benefits.

Government workers at Canadian municipalities enjoy an average 22% compensation top-up over their private sector counterparts: broken down into an hourly wage, this translates into about $6.43 more per hour for the same work.

At a time when municipalities need to re-think traditional ways of financing their operations and how this affects taxpayers, cities are encouraged to take a serious look at the impact of escalating wages and benefits on their overall budgets, instead of their annual plea for additional transfers and “revenue tools.” CFIB has delivered a letter to Canadian mayors urging them to find savings within existing budgets rather than calling for additional funding from other levels of government.

Rethinking Overtime

July 10, 2015 Comments off

Rethinking Overtime
Source: Oxford Economics

Today, some 3.3 million salaried workers across the US retail and restaurant industries can be exempted from the right to receive overtime pay because they earn at least $455 per week—the so-called overtime threshold. The Department of Labor is currently preparing a proposal that would change the rules that govern overtime payment.

To better understand the effects of these changes, Oxford Economics conducted an analysis using three possible modifications of the overtime regulation—raising the wage threshold to $610, $808, and $965 per week. This report explores the effects on the retail and restaurant industries under these three scenarios.

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Does it pay to win the Stanley Cup?

June 25, 2015 Comments off

Does it pay to win the Stanley Cup? (PDF)
Source: University of Windsor

Yes, it does indeed pay to win the Stanley Cup (SC). Professional sports offer a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between a player’s salary and their performance. Salary statistics have become widely available and enable individual performance scrutiny in relation to remuneration level. There is an extensive literature explaining which factors influence the players’ salary in the National Hockey League (NHL), using data sets from different seasons and including various performance indicators. Although much is known about salary and performance in professional hockey, there is a lack of understanding and empirical evidence of the pecuniary value of winning the Stanley Cup (SC) – the trophy awarded annually to the NHL playoff champion and the ultimate prize in professional hockey. Our empirical analysis suggests that winning the Stanley cup the season prior to signing a new contract earns players a 19% wage premium on their next contract.

Raising Lower-Level Wages: When and Why It Makes Economic Sense

June 24, 2015 Comments off

Raising Lower-Level Wages: When and Why It Makes Economic Sense
Source: Peterson Institute of International Economics

As the United States emerges from the Great Recession, concern is rising nationally over the issues of income inequality, stagnation of workers’ wages, and especially the struggles of lower-skilled workers at the -bottom end of the wage scale. While Washington deliberates legislation raising the minimum wage, a number of major American employers—for example, Aetna and Walmart—have begun to voluntarily raise the pay of their own lowest-paid employees.

In this collection of essays, economists from the Peterson Institute for International Economics analyze the potential benefits and costs of widespread wage increases, if adopted by a range of US private employers. They make this assessment for the workers, the companies, and for the US economy as a whole, including such an initiative’s effects on national competitiveness. These economists conclude that raising the pay of many of the lowest-paid US private-sector workers would not only reduce income inequality but also boost overall productivity growth, with likely minimal effect on employment in the current financial context.

Gen Y and Housing: What They Want and Where They Want It

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Gen Y and Housing: What They Want and Where They Want It
Source: Urban Land Institute

Contrary to popular belief, most Millennials are not living the high life in the downtowns of large cities, but rather are living in less centrally located but more affordable neighborhoods, making ends meet with jobs for which many feel overqualified, and living with parents or roommates to save money, according to a new report from ULI. Still, despite their current lifestyle constraints, most are optimistic about the odds for improving their housing and financial circumstances in the years ahead.


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